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Lakeside Birds

Sterling on the Lake is home to a variety of water birds.  See our feathered neighbors listed below:

 

Canadian Geese

Our population of Canadian Geese is resident, non-migratory geese.  Historically migratory geese passed through Georgia, but today practically all Canadian Geese are resident birds that do not migrate.

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Georgia Natural Resources started a “restocking” of geese in Georgia to increase the resident geese population. Today the count is estimated at 45,000 birds. The resident birds adapted very well to urban areas such as community lakes and golf courses. A DNR hunting program was established, mainly in the northern part of our state with Lake Lanier being the most concentrated area for geese.

As the birds matured they became wise to the areas that were hunted and flocked to safe areas (non-hunted areas such as community lakes and golf courses).  Today, adult birds find local areas that include multiple lakes to call home, traveling during the day to other sites but returning to their resident lakes at dusk. During the hunting seasons our community may see an increase in our geese population.

Early March begin breeding season, and nesting continues through May.  Residents may see our geese nesting along the banks at the water’s edge. Please do not approach or disturb the nest. Nesting geese can become aggressive if the nesting area is approached.

If any of the geese finds a resident’s property as “the perfect place” to build a nest, please inform the Lakes & Trails Committee via email to Lake@Sterling-Life.com and we’ll contact the DNR to attempt relocation.  Relocation may only occur if the nest is on a resident’s private property or in close proximity to trails or high volume areas in the common areas.

Great Blue Heron 

 

 

Members of the Lake and Trail Committee have identified two resident nesting families of Great Blue Herons at Sterling on the Lake.

The Great Blue Heron is a large wading bird ranging in height from 36 to 54 inches, a wingspan up to 79 inches and can weigh up to 7.9 pounds.

These magnificent birds can be found throughout most of North America. Blue Herons found in the southern United States are year round residents (birds, like humans, have found the climate and weather in our area so inviting they become permeant residents).

Herons locate their food by sight and swallow their prey whole. Generally solitary feeders found near the water’s edge, they waits motionless in order to capture their prey (fish, frogs and small amphibians).  Some birds have known to capture prey too large to swallow.  

Great Blue Herons breed in colonies in trees near lakes or other wetlands. Breeding season occurs from December to March depending on temperature.  Most nests are located near ideal feeding spots, high in trees to reduce the change of encounter with predators. The young chicks remain in the nest up to 55 days before taking flight and returning to the nest to be fed for up to 3 weeks.

These are wonderful birds to watch from a distance, as they are easily spooked if approached. You can observe herons from our walking trails throughout the community.